Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Examine insulation. If your home is older, it could mean your insulation is too. If you can see the joists, you likely need more insulation.
- Check ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Rio Grande Valley with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.